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divorce lawyerFive Common Mistakes to Avoid in Divorce




When it comes to divorce, it is important to be vigilant and educated about your rights under the law to minimize negative consequences. Throughout the process, it is possible to make mistakes that can have a significant impact post-settlement. To help you navigate divorce more wisely, here are five common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Lifestyle Changes:
    One common mistake is failing to plan for the financial reality of living on a reduced income. It’s important to be realistic about the lifestyle you can afford as an individual. Take the time to accurately assess your expenses and create a budget that reflects your new financial situation.
  2. Taxes:
    Navigating finances and taxes during divorce can be complex. To avoid mistakes in this area, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from an attorney, financial planner, and accountant. During property settlement negotiations, remember that different assets may have different tax implications. Retirement accounts, such as employer-sponsored 401(k)s or individual retirement accounts, are taxed differently than after-tax brokerage accounts. Understanding these nuances will help you make better informed decisions.
  3. Your Home:
    Holding on to the family home solely for emotional reasons can be a mistake. It’s crucial to carefully consider the financial implications of keeping the house, including costs of refinancing, mortgage payments, property taxes, and maintenance costs. Evaluating whether it is financially feasible to maintain the home post-divorce is essential for long-term financial stability.
  4. Estate Planning
    Divorce can change the outcome of your will, trust, and estate planning documents. As the divorce winds down, you will want to update your documents and make necessary changes to avoid future conflict.  You should also update your Health Care Proxy and Power of Attorney as part of this process.
  5. Legalities:
    Failing to seek legal counsel or not fully understanding your rights and obligations can lead to significant financial mistakes that may be permanent. Consulting with an experienced divorce attorney who concentrates in matrimonial and family law is crucial to protect your interests. They can provide proper guidance on issues such as child custody and support, asset division, and spousal support, ensuring you make informed decisions throughout the process.

By being aware of these common pitfalls and taking proactive measures, you can more efficiently navigate the divorce process and establish the foundation for a secure future. Remember, seeking professional advice and being financially vigilant are key to minimizing the potential negative impact of divorce.

This is not to be considered legal advice.  You should contact an attorney to discuss your specific situation.

Michele P. Ellerin is Partner concentrating on matrimonial and family law including divorce, child support, child custody, and prenuptials.  She can be reached by phone 845-764-9656 and by email.

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